Recently, Fresh Mag’s editor had a chance to sit down with Pursuit 365 contributor Paula Skaper, president and co-founder of Kinetix Digital in Vancouver, to talk about life and lessons learned over more than two decades as a successful female entrepreneur.
How did you know you were ready to start your business?
The short answer is that I didn’t. I talk about the day I started my business in Pursuit 365, so I won’t give it all away today. [smiles]
I don’t think any of us ever truly feels prepared for the big challenges and opportunities that come our way. We really only know after the fact. It’s less about being ready than it’s about making a commitment to yourself to try.
You see the deep end of the pool, hope for the best, take a deep breath, and jump in.
What inspires you to keep going in your career?
It has changed over time. When I started Kinetix Digital in 2000, I was excited at the opportunity to be present at the birth of something that would literally change the world. Being part of shaping how the internet would fit into our lives was incredibly energizing.
Today, I’m fascinated by how the way we live and work has evolved. And by the social changes (good and bad) that have come about because of it. Everything that has happened in this last year, with the pandemic, has really shone a spotlight on those changes. And in many cases, accelerated how our society is evolving to be more digital.
With all the hype around AI and automation, it’s critical for our leaders to remember that technology is merely a tool that should empower us to be more human, not less.
What are you most proud of?
At work, I absolutely love it when I’m able to work with an entrepreneur to amplify both their impact and their income. Everyone wins when that happens. Seeing the human impact that business growth has on both the entrepreneur and their employees is really gratifying.
But you know, the professional wins would be hollow if there wasn’t a greater purpose behind them. My family is that greater purpose in my life. The world is a better place with them in it, and I’m grateful for the small part I’ve had the privilege to play in making that so.
What has been the greatest shift in your career or life and how did you navigate through it?
I don’t think I’ve experienced it yet. Being an entrepreneur is a process of constant re-invention. It’s about paying attention to what the market needs and finding a way to meet that need. Any business that isn’t consciously evolving is headed for trouble – especially today.
What are you up to right now that people should know about?
I’m really looking forward to 2021. Working with my clients to navigate the business challenges brought about by the pandemic has opened some amazing opportunities to help entrepreneurs on a bigger scale. I’ve adapted the customized training programs I deliver for my clients to create Marketing Leadership and Social Selling training programs designed specifically to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses.
We’ve also aligned with a fantastic full-suite marketing automation tool that really simplifies both sales and marketing automation for small and mid-sized businesses. We’re able to deliver enterprise marketing automation to local businesses at a price-point that’s about 1/10 what they would have to invest for other software.
What excites me most about these new services is that they combine to free business owners and marketing leaders from the grip of agency partners. And that means their sales and marketing budgets go farther, accomplish more, and are easier to manage. Those are all good things for any business.
Final thought – if you could give your past self some advice, what would you tell you?
I actually wrote an article about nine key pieces of advice I’d give my teenage self when my daughter graduated from high school. And I still feel the same way. Most importantly of all, I’d reach back in time and let her know, “You are enough.”